Easy Whole Wheat Bread

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Easy whole wheat bread is something I’ve been searching for, for a long time now. I loooove bread, especially fresh baked bread, hot out of the oven, warm and soft on the inside, with a nice hard crust on the outside. It’s the best!

I’ve been discouraged from trying to bake my own though, because it seems all the recipes that exist out there have oil, sugar, or other ingredients I don’t cook with. Or, they’re incredibly complex recipes with lots of steps, wait times, complicated rising instructions, etc. I wanted something simple, healthy, and easy to make, but wasn’t having any luck in my search.

That is, until now! It took a lot of research, but I think I’ve finally found a way to bake a homemade bread loaf that is easy AND healthy! No oil, no sugar, no complicated steps, no long wait times. This will forever be my new go-to easy whole wheat bread recipe!

easy whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

You can enjoy this bread with nut butters or fruit jams on top. You could also go the savory route and spread avocado or hummus on it. You can dip it in soup, make sandwiches out of it, toast crostinis or bruschetta with it – you name it. But anyways, let’s get on with the recipe!

Easy Whole Wheat Bread In Under 2 Hours

oil free easy whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

First, combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Then, slowly add warm water and knead with your hands until a dough ball forms. I use these quick “fast acting” dry yeast packets. They’re really cheap at Kroger or Walmart, and one packet (or square) is the perfect amount for what you’ll need. 2018 Update: You can also buy yeast in bulk for cheap online (which is what I started to do, since I’m doing a lot more baking these days!).

fast easy whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

The above picture is what your dough ball should look like just after you’re done kneading it into a ball. Now comes the waiting part. Most bread recipes you see online will ask you to let the dough “rest” or “rise” for 10+ hours, or even overnight. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Just step away from this bread for one hour and one hour only. Trust me, the loaf will still rise and be delicious in the end.

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After one hour your dough should look like the picture above. As you can see, it definitely expanded and grew bigger while it rested.

Next, preheat your oven to 400 F and line a round baking dish with parchment paper. Sprinkle some extra flour over the dough so you can get it out of the bowl easily, and transfer it to the round baking pan. Shake it a few times, and gently pat the dough with your hands so that it fills the space of the round dish evenly.

quick easy whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes, to rise once more. This should be happening while your oven is preheating, so no time is lost here really. As you can see in the picture above, the dough will rise again in these 30 minutes.

And now you’re pretty much ready to bake! All of our prep happened in under 2 hours. Not 24, or 8, or 10, but less than 2! That’s why I love this recipe.

Score & Bake

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Finally, “score” the top of the dough, sprinkle it with some herbs, rolled oats (regular oats or gluten free oats work great), coarse sea salt (optional), and bake.

Scoring is slashing the dough with a knife (or scissors, as a crafty commenter informed me below!) to allow it to expand during baking. The purpose is primarily to control the direction in which the bread will expand during baking. You’ll see in fancy bakeries that they sometimes score their bread with fun patterns of leaves, flowers, or other intricate designs. I decided to go with a simple criss-cross slash – and I kinda messed it up a bit!

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To be fair, this was my first time ever scoring bread. I wasn’t expecting the dough to be as “sticky” as it was, and my knife didn’t really scrape through it very easily. I’ll know for next time though! Maybe if I get better I can try scoring my dough with fun patterns too one day. 🙂 For more info on scoring, with videos on how to do it, check out this page here.

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

oil free whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

And that’s it! I have to say, for this being my first time ever making homemade bread, I was so so pleased with how it turned out. I was nervous that it wouldn’t rise properly, that it would be hard as a rock, or not cook at all. Knowing my luck it would “collapse” or sink, or burn to a crisp. But to my very pleasant surprise, I thought it turned out perfectly.

whole wheat bread recipe | spartanlifeblog.com

The outside crust was perfect. It was crisp without being too brittle. It gave the bread the perfect amount of texture. This time around I only topped it with rolled oats and sea salt, but next time I think I’ll get creative with rosemary, maybe olives, sun dried tomatoes, herbs, or other fun combinations!

The inside was nice and soft too. Not overdone, dried out or hard. That was probably my biggest worry with making homemade bread. Could I get it just right so that the outside is crunchy, but the inside is soft? Believe me when I say if I did it, you can too! Just follow the instructions below exactly and it should turn it just like this.

Get Creative With It

easy whole wheat bread | spartanlifeblog.com

I mentioned before you could get really creative with the different toppings you put on it before baking. But I think you can be just as creative with how you eat it too. By that I mean using it for toast, dunking it in soups, using it with a homemade dip, sandwiches, etc. I made a banging homemade broccoli “cheese” soup this same week and used this bread to dip in my soup every time I ate some of it. It was sooo good.

I’m glad that I’ve finally come across an easy whole wheat bread recipe that is simple, healthy, and quick to make. It’s everything I hoped homemade bread-making would be. Plus, learning to DIY can be a great introduction to more eco friendly living!

P.S. If you’re looking for more bread recipes from me, I also have a homemade bagels recipe that’s brand new. I hope you check it out!

P.P.S. The final final perk of this recipe is that your home will smell amazing like a bakery after making this. And who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked bread??

oil free whole wheat bread
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4.89 from 59 votes

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Easy whole wheat bread recipe that is oil and sugar free. It only takes 2 hours to make from start to finish, 4 ingredients, and can be enjoyed as toast, dipped in soup, used for sandwiches, crostinis, and more.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: Healthy
Keyword: bread, oil-free, side-dish, sugar-free
Servings: 3 people
Author: Spartan Life


  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 packet
  • teaspoons salt optional, see note*
  • 2 cups warm water


  • 1 TBS whole rolled oats
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • Herbs of your choosing


  • In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast and salt. Then pour in the warm water and knead with your hands until a dough forms (the dough will be sticky, which is ok)
  • Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a draft free spot for 1 hour
  • After 1 hour preheat your oven to 400 F and line a round baking dish* with parchment paper
  • Rub some flour between your hands and transfer your dough to the round baking dish. Shake the dish so the dough settles into the space of the dish evenly, or pat it gently with your hands to fill it
  • Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes
  • Score the dough with a knife (criss-cross shape in center) and sprinkle it with your toppings (rolled oats, salt, etc.)
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown


* The salt in this recipe is optional. It can be omitted completely or reduced depending on your preference. Other herbs are a great addition as well! Lately my favorite variation of this recipe is to use only 1/2 tsp of salt and also add in dried parsley, oregano, and onion powder to the mix.
* Readers have commented that baking this recipe in a traditional loaf pan also works great as opposed to a round-shaped dish.

Easy Whole Wheat Bread | Healthy Recipes by spartanlifeblog.com


  1. Most everything went well and the bread is very good. I don’t eat any sodium or added sugar. My only problem was my bread stuck to parchment paper so badly. Should I spray it or sprinkle with flour?

    1. Just add a little olive oil to the parchment paper before adding in the dough. Literally you can put a tiny anoint on the top of your finger and spread it on the paper and that will be enough. Won’t add many calories or fat. Maybe 10 cal. You don’t need to use a tablespoon of oil or even a teaspoon. That’s what I do.

  2. I am a Type 2 diabetic. I found this wonderful bread recipe when I searched the internet for a good recipe for diabetics so I could enjoy toast. I have been enjoying toast for about a year. I have made a couple additions/modifications to the recipe. I have added 3/4-cup hemp hearts for more fiber plus 2/3-cup minced or granulated dry onion (a mixture of both works). There isn’t much taste from the onion. I also use 2-1/2 cups water. Knead on a floured bread board for several minutes and put in a greased bowl for raising. Once the dough has raised, I put it in a rectangle bread pan for the final raising before baking. Check your yeast’s expiration date—don’t use old yeast if you want the dough to rise quicker instead of very slow and less rising and much less frustration.

    1. 5 stars
      I need to make a slight revision to my comments above. I am using 2-1/4 cups of water instead of the 2-1/2 cups found in my comments.

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Thank you.

    The only thing I changed was the amount of salt I used (1/2tsp). Then I added the salt on one side of my mixing bowl and the yeast on the other mixed each with the 100% wholemeal/ whole wheat flour on their own side before mixing all of the flour together. Then I added the water, flax, and sunflower seeds and mixed it. I let it sit 30 minutes did a stretch and fold then let it sit 2.5 hours before shaping and putting it in my loaf bread pan covered it let it rise again while the oven preheated. The RISE, texture, and taste was wonderful. I will be baking this weekly.

  4. 5 stars
    Good day! This is my first ever attempt at making bread. I truly love bread but not remotely enthused about a lot of them given the amount of sugar and chemical additives that take a logistics degree to pronounce. I decided to give making my own bread a try and found this recipe. I followed the instructions by using all 4 of the mentioned ingredients then threw in some fresh dill, rosemary, oregano, a dash of onion powder, then tossed in some dried cranberries. The bread turned out WAY better than I expected! The cranberries add a fantastic sweetness to compliment the rosemary!

    For those asking in some of the other questions – I used my Kitchen-aid bread hook attachment to knead the bread and a rectangle bread pan to bake it in! YUMMY!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Just for those wanting to hear about how it turned out in the bread machine. I tried it this morning and it turned out wonderfully- it was the first time making bread for me (albeit in a machine). Same basic recipe as listed here and the amount was perfect for my ‘regular’ sized machine.
    Hope that helps others.

    Thank you for this recipe, it’s great to be able to eat whole wheat bread without other stuff added. It will be a regular go to for me.

  6. 5 stars
    My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes and is following the same diet as Mayer Eric Adams which is not just not having sugar but no animal products, no sugar, no oils/fats (except minimum avacado/nuts..1/4 cup nuts).

    Anyhow, no grains and each week for the Sabbath he needs to have a specific portion of bread (challa) which the doctor says if it is minimum it is ok.

    We have been trying sour dough whole wheat week after week from the store and it is like cardboard. It has to be totally whole wheat with 4 grams of fiber per slice. My sister directed me to the only recipe that she could find with just these ingredients and I made my own 2 braided loaves!

    Thank you very much. It was delicious right when it came out of the oven.
    As I expected, by the meal much later at night, it wasn’t yum but it was still much better than all the other ones I had.

    It rose very well and I added some spices into the dough as I had read here. I added garlic powder, onion powder, 1/4 t oregano and parsley (I think i would leave it out next time maybe) and didn’t do salt afraid to affect the rising. I would do much more of each of these next time and try the salt.

    Thank you so much! I would like to hear any updates or other recipes like this!
    I can’t wait to see the rest of your site!

  7. Has anyone made this in a stand mixer with a dough hook? Also, approximately what size loaf pan would be suitable? Thank you.

    1. I have arthritis in my hands bad was wondering if I could do this in a bread machine on the dough cycle? Any adjustments?

  8. This recipe is fantastic. I make it all the time now. My only changes are I add 1/4 cup flax meal so I let it rise for 1 hour 10 minutes. Also, I use a bread loaf pan. Thank you so much for this!

    1. Just add up the calories of each ingredient you put in the bread and divide that number by the amount of slices you cut it into☺️

    2. Question: I’d like to incorporate oats into the recipe; would you recommend I mix them in the dough at the start or just sprinkle a few on top?
      Thank you for sharing this recipe!
      Another question: Can I make a big batch of dough and then store some in the freezer?

  9. Hello, I was wonder If I could substitute some of the water in this recipe for oil. And if yes, how much should I add?

    Appreciate any suggestions!

    Thank you!

  10. Thanks for the recipe . Made this bread using 100% whole MEAL flour not whole wheat flour.
    Turn out excellent . Added dry cranberries to the flour before water . Lastly added one teaspoon olive oil. Dough was wetter than picture . Thought water was too much . But it turn out good.

  11. 5 stars
    I always found the idea of baking bread rather daunting! Of course being in lockdown I finally decided to give it a go. I wanted a healthy recipe and found this one.
    It’s simple, easy and straight forward. I no longer buy bread! I make it myself 😃
    Thank you

  12. I am not sure what scoring mean. I divided it in quarts right down to bottom of dish. Came out very dry and unappetising. Maybe my water was too warm for yeast or I dit not knead it enough. Any suggestions?

    1. It’s probably because you cut it all the way down to the bottom of the dish and cooked it for the same amount of time. Since you cut it all the way through the middle, the moisture came out while baking. Scoring just means cutting the surface of the bread so it will rise properly, I’d say cut no more than half an inch deep when scoring. Hope this helps:)

  13. 5 stars
    I do this bread all the time.. love it..I put dough in cast iron bread tin , rise for 20 minutes ..and bake..375° for 40 minutes… great everytime. The only difference I do . Is add 1 TBLS of honey from my own bee hives, in with the warm water stir It really good throw in yeast.. and stir. add to dry ingredients. Done. Mix with fork in bowl..

  14. 5 stars
    I finally made it! Had trouble getting flour during first months of covid. I followed the recipe and it came out really well. Delicious. My very first bread that I have ever made. It was very sticky and I got in a bit of a mess as it separated when I tried to lift it out of the bowl but it still worked out. Thank you finally a bread I love.

  15. 5 stars
    Excellent! Perfect recipe that does not contain sugar and it taste amazing!! I can barely keep a loaf, my kids and husband devour it as soon as it comes out of the oven!! So simple. I HIGHLY recommend. We no longer buy store bread. We just can’t go back after tasting this. Not to mention the cost works out to just over a dollar a loaf and that is using only organic ingredients.

    1. Thank you for trying my recipe! I’m happy it worked out for you! And agreed, homemade bread beats store-bought in taste every time.

  16. 5 stars
    I found this recipe when looking for no-oil breads due to mine constantly coming out too crumbly for slices, and it worked a treat!! I used white-whole wheat flour and switched out 1c for 1/2c quick oats, 1/2c white flour. I also added flax meal, sesame, sunflower and chia seeds for extra flavor/crunch and topped with those too. The dough is definitely super sticky without using oil, but lightly flouring my hands helped a lot, as did lightly flouring the bowl before the first rise. Hands-down my best bread yet; the family loved it at dinner and I was actually able to make sandwiches with it (I used a loaf pan with non-stick olive oil spray) for today’s lunches. Awesome recipe!!

  17. 2 stars
    I followed this to a tee. I even added more salt than called for and it still came out tasting like a piece of cardboard. I was so disappointed. Maybe I’ll make again and throw in some Parmesan cheese and more salt because it was a very easy recipe to make. Oh… I made it in a glass loaf pan and it came out really pretty.

    1. I’m gonna try this recipe today. I happen to know that salt inhibits yeast growth, which is why it’s added to lactofermentations so that the yeast or non-beneficial bacteria cannot grow. Perhaps oversalting ruined it? I’ll come back with my findings on what I think of the recipe later. Also, flour quality is important too. I like King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour for its high protein content.

    2. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. If you ever attempted it a second time, adding other herbs might give it more flavor. Such as garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley etc.

  18. 5 stars
    After a lengthy search for a simple 100% whole wheat raisin bread without oil, dairy, or tons of sugar to test out the Bob‘s Red Mill 100% Stone ground whole wheat flour I had just purchased, I finally came across this wonderful recipe. I halved all the amounts for a smaller loaf, used unsweetened almond milk instead of water, and added 1/2 cup of raisins. The bread came out great – my best raisin bread so far. The raisins add just a touch of sweetness to an otherwise great tasting whole wheat bread.

  19. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the recipe for us.Very easy to follow,less ingredients and very testy.I don’t know how many times i did it and everytime was successful.İf anybody interested for white bread i did the same recipe with white flour and result was perfect.Thank you again….

    1. 5 stars
      Answering my own question: no time change needed. I did 30mins in the dutch oven, 10 mins with the lid off, let it rest for an hour and its pretty good, tasty (I did less salt plus onion powder and italian seasoning). I also did two cups of whole wheat pastry flour, two cups of whole wheat flour and it came out a bit flatter than I planned (smaller sandwiches aren’t a terrible thing, but perfect for soups). I think I’ll shape it a bit more and go 3 cups WWF, 1 cup WWPF next time (working my way up to the 4 cups of WW, haha).

      The rolled oats did not stick to the top btw, any thoughts on ensuring that happens other than folding them in/throughout?

      Thanks for the recipe!

      1. That’s great! I love it when readers take this simple recipe and make it their own. Sorry to hear the rolled oats didn’t “stick” to the top of yours. In my experience, the oat topping can vary a lot from loaf to loaf. The more the bread rises, the better they stick I think.

  20. 4 stars
    It was really nice. Nice and crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside. I added olives. It made for a wholesome breakfast. My only issue was that the bread stuck to the parchment paper and it was a pain to get it out. Had to cut it out with a knife. Would it help applying a bit of butter or oil to the outside of the dough? Or maybe the parchment paper I am using is a bit useless. I don’t know.

    Meanwhile, is there a way of making tiger bread with a similar recipe?

    1. 5 stars
      Beautiful loaf! My kids and I enjoyed it. Such a wholesome alternative to the shop bought bread. Will be making again.

        1. Delicious loaf and will be my new go to. I replaced 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup Muesli for a little texture and topped with flax seed and sesame seeds. Thanks so much for sharing recipe!

    2. The addition of olives sounds delicious! I’m glad this mostly worked out for you. I’m not sure why the parchment paper didn’t work. That’s all I use and it comes out fine for me. Maybe it was the type?

      Also, I’ve never heard of Tiger bread before, but it sounds interesting! I will have to do some research on that one.

      1. My mother made at least 8 loaves a week, all my years at home, growing up. I had no idea how good I had it. She just rubbed the bread pan with cold butter, spread it out evenly, and sprinkled flour evenly over the butter. Never a stick problem.

        1. A thin coat of cold butter covering entire inner surface of bread pan. Only a little flour is needed, like around a tablespoon or so, on one end, hold pan at an angle & tap so flour Coates sides of pan as it’s going downhill. Turn pan upside down, tap out excess.

    3. Did you let it cool completely before attempting to remove from the parchment paper? The only time I’ve had things stick to parchment was if I tried to remove it too soon (some things remove fine when hot, others don’t).

    4. I don’t use parchment. I just use butter or olive oil in the pan. Actually spray works too. I bake in a cloch I don’t know if that makes a difference.

    5. Get a non-stick loaf pan!

      Saves on the expense and waste from parchment paper.

      You still have to let it rest though.

    6. 5 stars
      Sprayed parchment paper lightly with PAM, slid right off. Used disposable round pans, still clean and reusable. No clean up. I am looking forward to other flavors. Onion powder and Italian seasoning. Onion powder over powered the Italian seasoning.

  21. Hi, I’m a newbies in baking bread. Can I use instant yeast ? I don’t have dry yeast. I want to make this bread for my baby. Thanks!

    1. Another reader below said this: “I tried this recipe with instant yeast – and it was delicious! However, you should add 25% less yeast to get the same result.” – I hope this helps!

    1. Yep! I regularly make this recipe with a round tin, or a loaf tin. I don’t think the shape matters that much!

      1. My loaf pan seems kind of small in comparison to the round one?
        It might be made to a smaller standard size?…

        Do you recommend reducing the scale of the recipe by ¼ or ⅓ less ingredients?

        Or, perhaps — even better — maybe I should make the full scale and bake a roll (or two?) from a portion of the dough?!

        Have you ever tried it in a smaller pan?

  22. 5 stars
    I love this recipe because it is so easy and it turns out. The bread is delicious. The second time I made it I had to mix half whole wheat and half all purpose flour because I didn’t have enough whole wheat flour and it still turned out delicious.

  23. 5 stars
    This is seriously incredibly easy and so delicious! This recipe is as basic as it gets which opens up the world of possibilities. I’ve ran out of flour so decided to try blending old fashion oats to make my own, Ive added flax seeds and a bit of sunflower oil sea salt and garlic powder/rosemary spice to the recipe and OMG its the bomb! I will never buy bread again. Wish I could post a photo here, it’s so pretty

    1. Really??? That’s amazing! Do you have the recipe for the oat flour version? It’s always been soooo dense whenever I’ve tried with oat flour!

    2. I’m so happy you like it! If you ever did want to share a photo just tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see it. 🙂

  24. I made this with sourdough instead of yeast, and changed the ingredients to reflect that. ( one cup of sourdough starter substituted for yeast, cutting the water by 1/2 cup, and cutting the flour by 3/4 cup.) I did an overnight first rise and a few hours for the second one. It came out really well, and is the only whole wheat recipe that I have found for 100% whole wheat flour that doesn’t include added sugar. It is an excellent recipe that I will use again.

    1. I’m glad your modifications worked out! I love sourdough bread, and would like to try making it one day too.

      1. Since then, I have found a way to do it all in one day. I feed the sourdough at night, and make the bread in the morning. To speed up the rising to a few hours, I let it rise on the low setting of a heating pad. Then the second rise just takes 1/2 to 1 hour, before going in the oven. I’ve been using less whole wheat flour now, because it is so hard to find. Covid. I love this bread
        and so does my family.

  25. 5 stars
    Have been making this exactly as posted, 4 loaves at a time,in loaf pans, and add tray of water while baking. Awesome. Freeze three loves. Do you have suggestion for a similar cheese bread recipe please

  26. 5 stars
    This bread is amazing! Made it for the first time today came out perfect. Will be making it regularly, thanks for the recipe.

  27. 5 stars
    I cannot believe how incredibly easy and wonderfully tasty this recipe is! After reading about leaky gut and learning culprits are (among others, mainly processed foods) bread, yogurt and quinoa I set out to find a pure and simple recipe for bread. This is it! Compare these ingredients to what you would consider a healthy whole grain store bought bread made with ingredients most of which I couldn’t pronounce. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. My family loves it.

    1. Calculate calories for the whole loaf, weigh the whole loaf, and weigh your slices. No one is going to cut it the same or evenly or have the same shaped loaf.

  28. I really want to make this but I am a bit unsure exactly how to knead the dough. Is there a method I should follow? Any tips? Thanks

    1. Hi Zoey! I just use my hands. It really doesn’t take that long to knead, maybe 30-60 seconds. It comes together pretty quickly.

    2. 5 stars
      Knead in the bowl, perhaps a minute or so, till it’s well mixed. I let it rise twice. Cover, with plastic wrap and towel in a warming spot. I use scissors to do a lengthwise shallow cut on top. Sometimes brush top with a wee bit of melted butter. 😋

  29. I intend to try this soon. I’m trying to go oul and sugar free, but I need a way to have whole grains other than oatmeal and rice.

    1. I’d love to know what you think if you try it! I love oatmeal and rice as well. But having fresh baked bread out of the oven is great too!

  30. I made this last weekend and it turned out quite dense, flavor is excellent. Then I realized that I should have made adjustments for high altitude, we’re at 6,00 ft! I am guy who is new to baking, especially bread. Is anyone else above 3,500 ft who could let me know what adjustments I need to make for next time?

    1. Wow! This is actually something that I’ve never thought of! I’ve heard before that different altitudes can affect baking, but I’ve never experienced it myself. A quick search said to slightly increasing the baking temperature, and decrease the baking time? Hopefully other high-altitude commenters can reply here with some tips!

      1. High altitude cooking needs more flour to not be dense. I lived at 7300 ft and any baking that’s what I did.

        1. Thank you for the tip! I just recently moved to a mountainous state, so I may need to learn to adjust my baking!

    2. I’ve been making my own bread for about 15 years at 10,000 ft. in the Colorado Mountains. I’ve learned to proof my yeast. To let the dough be very sticky. It takes 2 hrs. to rise in the mixing bowl covered with a damp cloth. My mixing bowl is my Kitchen Aid mixer. When I get all the ingredients in I turn the mixer on low for 13 min. Then let it rise covered for 2 hrs. Then turn on the mixer again just enough to get rising down. I take it out of the bowl & put it on a flour sprinkled surface surface. Cut my recipe into 1/3 ‘s. Put into baking bread pans. Usually oiled & floured. Let rise again. Takes about an hour. Then put in a 350 degree pre-heated oven to bake for 32 min. Comes out perfect every time. My recipe: 1 T. dry yeast in 1/2 C. Luke warm water. Set to proof. 2 1/2 C. of Luke warm water. 1/2 t. salt. 1/2 c. of coconut oil melted. 1/2 c. coconut sugar. 8 c. of organic white flour. 1/4 c. of each of the following Chia Seeds, Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, couscous, sesame seed, hemp seed, millet & flax seed. Now I want to make bread without oil or sugar.

  31. Oh no. Mine came out chewy, dense and heavy as a brick.. I’m pretty bad in the kitchen so I assume it’s my fault. I used instant yeast and did leave it for the hour, transfer to loaf pan then leave for another half hour. Not sure what went wrong.

    1. Actually I wasn’t sure it was getting brown so left it in about 10 minutes more. This would have dried it out.

  32. 5 stars
    I really like this recipe. It’s literally so simple and tasty too. I did not add salt and I think next time I will as it was a bit plain. I like the idea of adding spices to the mix; will try that next time!

    1. 5 stars
      I added some spices such as chives and oregano and salt and it tastes so good! Hard to believe its just flour water and yeast lol

    1. I’ve never tried this before, but I think oat flour would be an acceptable substitution. If you try this out, please let me know how it goes!

  33. Is there a way to make this so that the crust is soft instead of hard and crunchy? It was difficult to slice.

    1. I’ve heard that setting a small bowl (oven-proof!) of water in the oven while it bakes will help keep the crust from getting too hard. I hope that helps.

    2. Old trick, if you baste the crust with water when it’s fresh out of the oven it will be softer. Works on all types of bread, even home made pizza crust.

    3. I’ve started just running my wet hands around the spot I will slice, before putting it in the bag I keep it in, makes it easier to slice. Of course I love a chewy crust though.

    4. For softer bread crusts: after the bread is out of the oven, take it out of the container & place on a cooling rack. Spread loaf lightly with olive oil or margarine. Moisten a paper towel or very thin cloth, wringing out. Lay that paper towel over the warm bread. It’ll be steamy looking! As the bread cools, that crust will soften.

  34. First time making this wheat recipe. Just put the towel
    over it. Now waiting an hour to have it rise. That will be 12:30 in New Hampshire. Then will look for what I want to put it in. Wait another 30 minutes I hope and score it. Will put Oatmeal and some herb and wait for it to bake to have it ready for 6:30 tonight. Mm Mn I just can not wait.
    I am 80 years old and love ❤️ to cook 👩‍🍳 and bake. 🙏🏻

      1. In the recipe you said you used fast acting yeast but the photo you provided is the original. Can you clarify this please? Thanks!

        1. I guess what I used was actually ‘original.’ But I believe commenters below have used either and it seems to work just fine!

    1. I have only ever made this recipe with fast acting yeast. So I’m unsure if using a different kind would produce different results. I’d say it’s worth a try though! If you do experiment, please let me know how it turns out!

  35. 4 stars
    Wish the ingredients were in grams instead of cups! Everywhere I look cups measure different. Would love to try this recipe but in the UK not used to cups! If I get the measurement of flour wrong it would be ruined. Can anyone tell me the flour weight in grams pls? Thanks

  36. If making in a loaf pan, what size pan would you use? (I have some pretty small loaf pans – should I split this into, or use just one pan?

    1. Hm, that’s a good question, and I’m not sure what the right answer would be. I don’t think very small loaf pans would be ideal though. I think the bread would get too dry/hard in a small pan.

  37. I have little experience baking bread. Can I substitute Whole Wheat pastry flour? I have a huge bag of the pastry flour that I would like to utilize. I’m not sure how that would affect the end product.

    1. Hm, I actually don’t have any experience with pastry flour either. I’d say go for it though, and please let me know how it goes!

    2. Pastry flour does not contain enough gluten to make proper bread–that is kind of the point of it actually because gluten tends to make things a bit chewier and hold together better, which you wouldn’t want in pastry but would in bread. Pastry flour makes a lighter, flakier pastry crust.

  38. 5 stars
    is anyone able to give me a rough calorie breakdown if sliced into 14 pieces and no added salt – just flour, yeast, water? thank uuu!

    1. You could probably read what each ingredient has in it nutrition wise, add it all up, and then divide. That’s what I would do. I think I would also proof overnight in the fridge and then bring to room temp and proof again before shaping. It’s a pretty dense bread without AP flour. Just my opinion.

    2. Hi Megan! Unfortunately I don’t calculate calories for the recipes I make. If you were to search for whole wheat bread in a tool such as Cronometer though, for example, it could give you an estimate for how many calories this bread has.

  39. 5 stars
    I have some experience baking bread, but this is my first whole wheat loaf that I’ve made. I’ve been trying to eat healthier, so I wanted a good recipe for bread without any sugar. The dough was very sticky, like the recipe said, but it rose beautifully, and was airy and fluffy before I put it in the oven to bake. The bread had a very pleasant, mild “tanginess” to it that I really enjoyed, and it had a crispy crust and soft crumb. And it was so easy to make! I just set it in the oven with the light on to rise while I cooked breakfast and cleaned a little bit. Will definitely make again. Thank you so much for sharing!

  40. 5 stars
    I bake 3 loaves regularly, freeze two, then go thru them as needed. I bake one loaf for my neighbour, he too loves it. I usually cook in oats, and bran. Let it rise 1 hour, turn on oven, punch down. At 400 degrees, it has risen and pop in the oven. I add a container of water in oven while it’s baking. Always turns out perfectly and delicious. It also toasts very nicely. I use loaf pans. Thanks for your hard work.

  41. 5 stars
    The best ever!!!
    I’ve tried this recipe for over five times now!
    Omg you can’t fail baking bread with this.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    I’ve introduced to my Korean blog too.

    1. I’m so glad you like it! Thank you for trying it! If you write about it on your Korean blog I’d love a shout-out 😛

  42. 5 stars
    This was my first time making bread, and it was super easy! It’s the most delicious bread! Super moist and crunchy on the outside! I’m never buying from the store again…

    1. I’ve never owned or operated a bread machine before, so I’m unable to say. Sorry! If you experiment with this, please let me know how it goes!

      1. Me too, but from the lack of response to it over 2 years, I’d say there’s an anti-bread machine sentiment :-\

  43. 5 stars
    This is the best whole wheat bread recipe I’ve tried ever. I’d like to add in some wheat germ, wheat bran, nuts, flax seed and chopped prunes next time, measuring a total 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Should I remove the same volume (1/2 or 3/4 cup) of whole wheat flour? Will the moisture in prunes have an adverse effect ?

    1. I don’t think the addition of nuts or prunes will make that big of a difference. It should be ok to add those in without making any other modifications to the ingredient amounts. I’m glad you like it, thanks for checking out my blog!

  44. I used club soda instead of plain water (seltzer water also works well), had 3 year old yeast so I used 2 teaspoons, and left everything alone

    Came out perfectly.

    Love this 4 ingredient no knead bread and will be making it from now, instead of buying!

  45. Wow, all the comments from just today! It must be a great recipe! I was looking for hamburger buns with no oil and I think this will be perfect. How many buns will it make do you think?

    1. Hi Sandy, I’ve baked this before in a traditional loaf pan, which can be sliced like normal pieces of bread (for sandwiches, for example). I think that’s the closest I’ve come to making this bread in “hamburger bun” shape. I hope it works out for you!

      Another small note, this bread is 100% whole-wheat, which makes it pretty dense/hearty. It may be too hearty for a typical hamburger bun, but you could always try splitting the flour type up, so do half all-purpose flour, and half whole-wheat flour, for example. This will make it softer, and closer to a typical hamburger bun consistency. If dense whole-wheat hamburger buns are your thing though, then no need for modification! I just wanted to mention these things. If you do use this recipe for hamburger buns, I’d be interested to know how it turned out for you!

  46. Hi Natalie! Thanks for sharing a minimalist recipe that fits my vegan lifestyle. I made mine in a traditional loaf pan and let it rise twice with a moist towel on a table near the fireplace. My loaf came out beautifully tall and nice and fluffy soft inside with a countryside crunch on the outside. I am wondering though how many calories would be in one slice of this fabulous bread. Mine has no oil, no salt and no sugar. I am enjoying your wonderful website. Thanks.

    1. I did some guesstimate math,calories of four cups of whole wheat comes around in the 1600+ for the whole loaf. If I sliced the loaf to 15 slices it would be 1/15…. so per slice of this comes to a 108 but given the yeast I’d say 110 per slice just to be safe.

      1. Hi Rowe, thanks for trying my recipe, and for going through the effort to calculate those numbers! I personally choose not to count calories, so it’s not something I do for my recipes. But thank you for sharing your calculations! With no sugar, oil, or (optionally) salt in the recipe at all, it is very healthy bread!

        And I’m glad the loaf came out soft and fluffy for you, with a “countryside crunch” on the outside – it’s exactly what I was going for!

  47. I’m so excited to try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!! Go Spartans!

    Does the pan have to be a circular pan?

    1. * “Readers have commented that baking this recipe in a traditional loaf pan also works great as opposed to a round-shaped dish.”

      Whoops – just noticed you covered this as I reread the article.

    2. Go Green! Go White! 😀

      And to answer your question, yes you can bake this in a round dish or a traditional loaf pan. I hope you liked it!

    1. Interesting, I never thought to freeze it before! Usually I eat it too quickly to worry about it going bad, but if you do try to freeze it, let me know how it goes!

  48. Made this today!! Turned out great! I followed what you said about the salt and herbs. I also baked it in a pan. I put in 1 1/2 cup of bread flour, 1 3/4 cup of wheat flour, 1/2 cup of rye flour, and 1/4 cup of flax seed meal. I added the bread flour because I was afraid it would be too dense without it. If anyone has any insights into a light fluffy flour that is healthier than your cheapo grocery store bread flour, please let me know! I’m new to this!
    Thanks again for the recipe!

    1. Thank you for trying it! I’m glad you liked it! All those additions you made sound really yummy, like Rye flour, flax seed meal, etc. I wonder how the taste differed with those changes, I may have to try it myself sometime!

  49. Hi Natalie! I accidentally started kneading the dough for a few minutes before I realized that this recipe calls for no kneading and the dough should be loose.

    Now I’m waiting for it to rise anxiously. Any idea if kneading hurts the process for this recipe?

    Thanks so much for this simple, no added sugar bread recipe!

    1. Hi Deedee, I’ve never kneaded the dough for this recipe before, so it’s hard for me to say! I don’t think it should hurt it too bad though. I’m interested in knowing how it turned out for you!

    1. I’ve never owned or operated a bread machine before, so I’m unable to say. Sorry! If you experiment with this, please let me know how it goes!

  50. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe, thank you very much. Make this regularly for my family, and with my young children.

    Do you have a whole-wheat sourdough bread recipe you like? All of the ones I’ve found are scarily complicated, and I thought you might have cracked an easier way. Thank you in advance.

    1. 5 stars
      I too would also love to know of a great whole-wheat sourdough recipe! A sister to this great recipe. Can you share one?

      1. That’s a fantastic idea! I loooove a good sourdough bread. I will definitely add it to my list for future bread recipes. 😉

  51. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a simple whole grain bread recipe with yeast and no oil or salt as I am on a WFPBNSOS (whole food plant based no salt oil or sugar) diet. I have discovered that if I leave salt out of the food I eat then I don’t need medication for high blood pressure because my blood pressure normalizes. If I leave the salt out your recipe looks like it should work. It will be pretty spartan but should go well with the rest of my diet. Thanks! Mitch

    1. Hi Mitch,

      Thank you for your comment, and I hope you like the bread recipe!

      Also you can absolutely omit the salt from the recipe. Instead, you could try a combination of other herbs like dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, paprika, etc. to give it flavor. It is very customize-able!

    1. I believe the bread should come out the same. But if for some reason it comes out different for you, please let me know! I can update the recipe with a note for that.

      1. 5 stars
        I tried this recipe with instant yeast – and it was delicious! However, you should add 25% less yeast to get the same result. I used a little bit more than 1.5 teaspoons and it turned out perfect!

  52. I just made this today and it turned out awesome! I cooked it in a loaf pan and it turned out great. Thanks for this recipe!

  53. Hi Natalie,

    Sorry for the silly question, but is Active Dry Yeast vegan? I saw sorbitan monostearate on a few yeast packages, and I’m afraid to purchase it if the monostearate was derived from cows. I think it can also be made from coconuts, but I’m not an expert.

    Hope to make your vegan, healthy bread!

    1. Hi Julian,

      It’s not a silly question at all! Yeast itself, is a single-celled organism that’s classified as a fungus, which makes it 100% vegan friendly. As for the sorbitan monostearate ingredient you noticed on a package, I have to say I am not an expert in this regard either. If it is something you would like to avoid, I would say try to find a brand of yeast that avoids this particular ingredient. I hope this helps!

  54. 5 stars
    I really like this bread. Any idea how long it lasts? So far the longest I’ve had it is 3 days but it’s all gone by then.

    1. This bread has fresh ingredients with no preservatives, so it should be eaten within a week. When I make it, I notice that it lasts about 5-6 days, but it’s hard not eating it all before then! I think refrigerating it would help it last a bit longer.

  55. Tried this receipe at the weekend. It was so nice making another one today. Even my husband liked it and he’s doesn’t eat whole meal bread. Delicious simple receipe thank you *****

  56. 5 stars
    I wish I could post a photo! My first loaf turned out beautiful!! I’m a Canadian girl dating a Swiss guy. Simple, crusty, unsweetened, whole grain bread is what he loves. This recipe is perfect and it bakes perfect exactly as the recipe is written. Thank you so much!

  57. 5 stars

    I made this recipe a couple of times already. I just stumbled on it and decided to try it, and because it was so good I keep making it. I usually make it into rolls, because it’s perfect for breakfast on the go.
    I just wonder why it always seems so dense, and if there is any ingredient that I could add to make it rise more. Any suggestions?

    1. Using all whole wheat flour will make it more dense. If you don’t want it that dense, you can always sub out part of the whole wheat flour, maybe a cup, with white. Whole wheat doesn’t have as much gluten as all purpose or bread flour. Another thing you can do if you want to keep it whole wheat only is to add some Vital Wheat Gluten, a natural protein found in wheat flour, to it. Follow the instructions on the back of the package and store it as recommended. It will add the gluten needed for good rise and structure. And knead it until it is smooth and elastic, and maybe increase the rise time to a little longer. You can find it in many grocery stores and natural foods stores.

    2. I’m glad to hear that it worked for you as rolls! I’ve never made it that way before, but it sounds good, I’ll have to try it myself sometime. 🙂

      As for the density, that is because the only flour used in the recipe is 100% whole wheat flour (which is pretty dense usually). As another poster mentioned, splitting the flour amount in half with a different flour type will help (use whole wheat flour for half the flour amount, and all-purpose flour for the other half). I’ve tried this before a few times, and it does make the bread come out softer.

  58. Have you ever tried making this in a baguette style of loaf? For some reason none of the stores seems to carry any oil/sugar free, vegan, whole grain bread other than Ezekiel and Dave’s.

    1. I have never personally tried it in a loaf pan, but a few of my readers have before, and they said it turned out great that way too!

    2. Dave’s has sugar which is why I stopped buying it, and Ezekiel has soy (not mentioned, but something I avoid). I love this recipe!

  59. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I was looking for a whole wheat bread recipe without sugar/honey and yours is so delicious. I reduced the amount of salt and added 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, and it turned out perfect. Thanks Natalie, regards from Libya.

  60. 5 stars
    Looks great! Going to try it today! Have you ever tried it with sprouted wheat? Do you think it’ll work the same? Thanks!

    1. I’ve never tried it with sprouted wheat, but that sounds delicious! If you do try it with that, please come back here and let me know how it turned out! : )

  61. Hi I just attempted. Think I followed instructions to the letter. It looked pretty good coming out of the oven but unfortunately it is very dense and had to put a slice in the microwave before I could make a sandwich.
    Would really appreciate any advice. Please bear in mind I have very little knowledge or skill in baking. Thanks much

    1. Because only whole wheat flour is used, the bread will be fairly dense. If you wanted to make it a bit softer for next time, you could try using half-and-half whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. I actually did try this one time as an experiment, and it was a softer bread. If you wanted to give that a try, it might be more to your liking!

    1. I don’t think almond flour is the right type of flour for this recipe, the bread would be too crumbly. Whole wheat flour will be best.

  62. this bread looks great but i have a question, can i omit the salt? i know it already doesn’t have oil and sugar but i’m also trying to reduce my sodium intake. thanks 🙂

    1. Absolutely! I make it often with less salt than the recipe calls for (or no salt), depending on how I feel that day. 🙂 You can replace the salt with extra herbs if you like, such as Rosemary, garlic + onion powder, Italian seasoning, thyme, etc. I think all of those additions would give nice flavor as well.

  63. 5 stars
    It turned out beautifully!
    My only changes were 1 tsp of salt, just in case, and I transferred the dough to a bowl with butter to rise (it ended up needing that and a generous sprinkling of extra flour since it was so sticky getting it out). I put the bowl in a sunny window and the dough rose well, even without the sugar to feed the yeast.
    It baked for an hour exactly and came out looking almost as pretty as the picture (except I forgot to top with oats). The loaf was quite flat, but good texture and taste and we just cut it kind of like pie slices, and then the slices in half lengthwise.
    This was so easy I’ll probably end up making it regularly! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a blessing to be able to make simple and good-for-you bread now whenever I want!

  64. If I was to use oil, how much would I put in? (I love that this recipe is so easy & especially no sugar, honey, etc. etc. but I’m okay with putting oil in so I figure I may as well)

    1. I don’t cook with oil (and generally don’t recommend it either) so I’m not sure what the answer would be, sorry! The banana bread recipe on my blog uses applesauce as an oil replacement though – so you could check out that post and see how much applesauce I used, to give you an idea of what amount of oil to use if you wanted. But I think this bread tastes great without oil. 🙂

      1. Okay, thank you! Well, I’ll try it and see how it turns out! (I’m new at homemade bread, so I don’t even know the conventions as far as what’s generally added.)

  65. 5 stars
    Thanks so much, love this bread! I typically use a bread machine to avoid the kneading, but with this it wasn’t necessary! It turned out beautifully! I baked it in a ceramic parchment lined pie plate, with oats on top.

  66. 5 stars
    Found this recipe, went out and bought what I needed & made it. Thank you so much! It was delicious. My husband had thirds!

    1. My circular pan is metal, but I don’t think it really matters. Just as long as the dish is oven-safe. Also I lined my pan with parchment paper to make clean-up easier and eliminate the need for oil.

  67. 5 stars
    Great recipe, looks marvellous, just took from oven and can’t wait to try it. Easy way to score the top, is to use scissors,

  68. Made this recipe and just took it from the oven;can’t wait to try it, looks marvellous. Recipe right on the time to make it. Easy way to score the bread, is with a pair of scissors. In the ‘50s watched a Dutch baker do it this way when I was 6 yrs old and often helped him.

  69. Could this be made in a regular loaf pan, instead of the round pan? Would the time need to be adjusted?

    1. I don’t see why not! I’ve never tried it myself, but I think it should work. I’ll try it sometime and let you know how it goes. I don’t think bake time would need to be adjusted.

  70. 4 stars
    Hey! I’m just wondering how many calories are in this bread? I’m on a fitness meal plan and I live in China and they add extra sugar to everything. Thanks

    1. I’m not someone who counts calories, so unfortunately I don’t have an answer for you. Sorry! There is no sugar in this bread recipe though, and no oil! So it is low/no fat.

  71. Ya know what I haven’t found yet? A whole wheat oil free sugar free garlic breadsticks recipe! I assume I could make it like this but roll the bread into sticks? I do want to try this bread! Is it bitter at all since there’s no added sweetener? Do you think I could add a homemade date syrup (from Dr.Greger) to the bread to make it sweeter?

    1. When I made this recipe I intended for it to be more of a savory, herby-type bread, than sweet. I eat it with soup and various dinner often. I’ve never tried to add a sweetener, but it might be good! If you try it, I’d be interested in hearing how it went!

      I’m not sure if this recipe could be turned into bread sticks because it rises a lot – BUT, I do have a garlic bread stick recipe coming to the blog soon, so keep a lookout for it! 🙂

    2. I thought I should mention, if you are looking for a sweet bread recipe, I do have a sugar free, oil free banana bread recipe on the blog as well! You can search for it in the sidebar.

    1. I’ve never tried it any other way than using an oven, so I’m not sure. If you figure out a way though, I’d be interested in hearing what you did!

  72. Thank you! Very easy recipe to follow. I am definitely making this over the weekend. I use the same ingredients for pizza base.

    Any storage tips? If I may ask, what was its shelf life? Does it dry out sooner as it has no oil?

    1. I leave my bread out on the counter only semi-covered, and it eat it throughout the week (it usually lasts 1 week like this). Near the very end of the week it does start to dry out a tad, so I recommend eating it within a week if you leave it out like I do.

      I think it would last longer if it was fully covered and refrigerated, but I prefer to keep my bread at room temperature. I’ve never tried freezing it before. I hope this helps – if you do try a different storage method I’d be interested to know how it went for you!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! Making sure this recipe was ‘easy’ was my #1 goal with it! I make it all the time now and just switch up what herbs and toppings I use.

  73. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I made a couple minute changes: I did use oil, and didn’t do the second rise. My loaf was perfect, which is to be expected with this foolproof recipe.

    1. Hello, I see this was a couple years ago, but could you tell me how much oil you used? I want to add oil but I’m not sure how much.

      Would be very grateful for any tips and suggestions!

      Thank you!

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